Lemon bars are one of those ‘clever’ slices that combines a simple shortbread-like base and an intensely-tart/sweet lemon topping to create a memorable mouth puckering moment – old-fashioned yet slightly sophisticated, all at the same time.
- 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
- 50 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 150 g chilled butter, diced
- 1 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
- 125 ml (½ cup) strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp flour
- icing sugar, to dust
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 1 hour
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 16 cm x 26 cm (base measurement) slice tin with butter and line the base and sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper, cutting into the corners to fit.
To make the base, combine the flour, sugar, butter and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture is evenly combined and just starts to come together. Tip mixture into the prepared tin and use your hands to press it evenly over the base. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until it is golden around the edges.
To make the topping, use a balloon whisk to whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon rind and juice until well combined. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Pour the topping over the warm base and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the topping is just set in the center.
Cool the slice in the tin on a wire rack (this will take about 1 hour). Use the baking paper to lift the slice from the tin. Cut into bars and dust with icing sugar to serve.
• These bars will keep in an airtight container in a cool spot (but not in the fridge) for up to 3 days.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Kerrie Ray. Creative concept by Lou Fay.
For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Citrus.